Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Shannon Sharpe Should be in the Hall of Fame

Posted by mizzou1028 on February 2, 2009

I think it is inexcusable that Shannon Sharpe did not get in the Hall of Fame this weekend.  I know he will get in eventually and that it is only a matter of time, but I thought for sure he would be a first ballot lock.  Sharpe retired with record for tight ends in receptions (815) and  yards (10,060).  Granted, those records have now been broken by Tony Gonzalez, but that doesn’t take away from what Sharpe accomplished in his career.  It seems as though Sharpe got caught in a numbers game because it is hard to make a case against the six guys who were enshrined (Bruce Smith, Rod Woodson, Bob Hayes, Ralph Wilson, Derrick Thomas and Randall McDaniel).  The guys who got in were all very deserving, but Sharpe should have been a first ballot lock with his career resume, which includes three Super Bowl rings.  The rules stiuplate no fewer than four inductees and no more than seven in a given year, so I am at a loss why Sharpe couldn’t have been the seventh candidate.  A case could be easily be made for Cris Carter as well (who I also think should be in and will be in eventually). 

I will preface the following by saying that I am clearly biased as a Broncos fan, but I think it is nothing short of ridiculous that only two Broncos are enshrined in the Hall (John Elway and Gary Zimmerman).  The Broncos have made it to six Super Bowls in their history, have won two of them, and have been one of the league’s most consistent franchises in the 80s and 90s with a lot of great players.  For example, I am convinced that linebacker Randy Gradishar, a seven time Pro Bowl selection and 1978 defensive player of the year, would be in the Hall of Fame had he worn the jersey of an east coast team.  It seems there is a bias against the Broncos that they have only two players in the Hall of Fame, especially when compared to other teams:

– The Cardinals have 11 players in the Hall of Fame, yet they haven’t won a title since 1947, and up until this season had won just one playoff game in 20 years

– The Lions have 13 players in the Hall, even though they’ve long been a league standard for futility.  To be fair, many of the enshrined players are from when the team was successful in the 1950s. 

– The Chiefs have 9 players who are enshrined (including Thomas), even though they haven’t won a playoff game in 15 years and were a league standard for futility throughout the late 70s and most of the 80s.

– The now defunct Houston Oilers have seven representatives, even though they consistently underachieved in the postseason.

Other teams with a lot of guys in: Redskins (17), Giants (18), Browns (16), Rams (13), 49ers (12), Chargers (7), Steelers (18), Raiders (13), Colts (10), Cowboys (11), Packers (21) and Bears (26). 

There are other teams besides the Broncos with room to gripe (for example the Patriots and Jets have four guys each), but for a team with a history such as the Broncos to only have two guys in is absolutely ridiculous.  I know Sharpe will get in eventually, and I think guys like Rod Smith and Terrell Davis should at the very least be considered.  I would like to see some old Broncos like Gradishar and Floyd Little get consideration eventually from the seniors committee as well.  I know a lot of teams think they should have more guys in, but it does seem there is not a balance here.

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One Response to “Shannon Sharpe Should be in the Hall of Fame”

  1. Doug Baker said

    Nice article. As you know, I don’t even like Sharpe but I totally agree with you.

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